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Globe Dye Works records


Held at: Historical Society of Frankford [Contact Us]1507 Orthodox St., Philadelphia, PA, 19124

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Frankford. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Globe Dye Works, established in 1865 by Richard Greenwood and William Bault, was a textile dying plant located in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania specializing in the bleaching and dying of yard and thread. The original Globe Dye Works building was built in 1867 alongside the Little Tacony Creek from which it drew its water supply. The building was expanded multiple times in the following years, adding mill buildings to the opposite bank of the creek. In 1876, Globe Dye works had multiple tenants sharing the complex: Minnehaha Mills, which produced cotton goods; Steadfast Mills, which produced cotton and woolen goods; Willow Brook Hosiery; and the Globe Machine Shop.

In 2005, Globe Dye Works ceased operations after having been managed by five generations of the Greenwood family. In 2007, Globe Development Group purchased the former Globe Dye Works complex and converted the buildings into a shared space for artists, businesses, and small manufacturing companies.


Auwarter, Barbara M. and Joyce Halley. "Globe Dye Works." Workshop of the World. Wallingford, PA: Oliver Evans Press, 1990. Accessed December 16, 2015.

This collection consists of the records of Globe Dye Works, dating from 1865 to 2005. There are financial and administrative records, employee records, board and stockholder meeting minutes, maps, scrapbooks, photographs, photograph albums, and property documents relating to the ownership and sales of the Globe Dye Works and Greenwood family properties. There are various company publications and printed matter, including business cards, posters, stickers, booklets, and multiple copies of the company newsletter, Ravelings, as well technical notes, booklets, and published books. The collection also includes a small amount of framed materials such as portraits, plot plans, and diagrams. There is also a book of sample threads with dye formulas.

A partial inventory is available below.

Preliminary Inventory

Box 1:

Account Book, 1909 –1916 (includes some photos)

Account Book, 1941-1960

Account Book, 1949-1959

Account Book, 1960 (has only a few pages of entries)

Box 2 (half box):

Misc 1990s-2000s employee and financial records

Maps and plot plans, 1916 and 1940s

Old scrapbooks

2 framed portrait photos (of Greenwood company executives?)

Box 3:

100th anniversary scrapbook, 1965

Scrapbook of letters of congratulations on 100th anniversary, 1965

Board meeting minute book, 1937-1971

Employee trust records, 1970s-80s

Box 4:

Account Book, 1907-1916

Account Book, 1916-1924

Account Book, 1924-1941

Account Book, 1907-1929

Employee Hours Book, 1894-1938 (Lists employees and the hours they worked. Also includes a chronological list of company milestones, 1904-1937)

Box 5:

Account Book, 1907-1924

Boiler Room Photo Album, 1952

3 framed photos of employee groups

Technical Manual

Bleaching Dept Journal, 1920s

Binder of Charts, Graphs, & Technical Information, 1930s-1940s

Book, “Faces We See,” about southern US yarn spinning industry

Book, “History of Philadelphia Electric Company,” 1881-1961

Company Magazine, Ravelings, in groupings for following years: 1938-1945; 1940; 1947-1950; 1951-1953; 1954-1956; 1957-1959; 1960-1962; 1963-1965; 1962-1969; 1966; 1969-1970; 1971.

Box 6:

3 large envelopes: 2 of misc stock papers, 1 of articles of incorporation and other materials, including an 1865 deed for Richard Greenwood’s plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery

1 binder of employee benefit and retirement documents, 1950s-1970s

Board meeting minute book, 1987-1990

Small notebook of technical information, 1950s-1960s

Binder of Dow-Wood, Inc documents, 1990s

Stockholders’ Meeting Minutes book, 1938-1969

Plant Survey Booklet, 1994

Box 7 (half box):

1990 Environmental Assessment of Globe Dye Works (Includes copies of historic photos and maps)

A few dozen loose photos, some historic/some 1990s

Box 8:

License & Inspection documents, c 1975

Real Estate Assessments & Appraisals, 1960s-1980s

Recapitalization, 1940s

Folders Relating to Property Ownership & sale issues: Globe Parking Lot, 1950s; 4540 Worth St (Virginia Towel), 1971; Real Estate, 1920s-1950s; Warehouse, 4528 Worth St; Philadelphia Real Estate Taxes, 1980s-1990s; Globe Parking Lot, 2158 Kinsey St; Globe Parking Lot, 4345 Worth St

2 large folder packs, both including photos, company publications, clippings

misc historical information

Box 9 (large flat box):

Account book, 1930s

Large scrapbook, 1930s-1960s (has some mold)

Account book, 1952-1960

Large scrapbook photo album (Includes early photos, including one dated 1869)

Misc copies of Ravelings and other company booklets

Account book, 1940s-1950s

Large book of sample threads with formulas, 1885-1886

2 Account Books (one labeled “Special Account Book”), 1950-1958, 1959-1960

Box 10 (half box):

Misc company printed materials, including business cards, posters, stickers, company booklets

Box 11:

Account Book, 1874-1932

Stock Ledger, 1930s-1960s

Stock Ledger, 1967

2 large stock books, 1920s

Board meeting minute book, 1907-1923

Board meeting minute book, 1923-1936

Board meeting minute book, 1907-1923

Board meeting minute book, 1971-1981

Board meeting minute book, 1981-1987

2 bound volumes of Fire Insurance Appraisal report, 1978

Box 12:

Misc company (and non-company) printed materials, including envelopes, stickers, booklets

1 small photo booklet

Company seal

Oversize and Large Framed Items:

One large company poster, mounted on board

3 sets of large rolled drawings

4 large framed items, including plot plans of company properties and diagrams of machinery

The records were left in the Globe Dye Works building by the company when it ceased operations and were donated to the Historical Society of Frankford in 2008 by Globe Development Group after it acquired the building.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Laurel Hill Cemetery directly for more information.

Historical Society of Frankford
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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